Category Archives: Biomass

Peak soil: Industrial agriculture destroys ecosystems and civilizations. Biofuels make it worse.

Alice Friedemann. 2017. Peak Soil.   Last updated: June 4, 2017, first published 2007 [ Formerly titled: Why Biofuels are Not Sustainable and a Threat to America’s National Security.  Shorter versions appear in the following books: Jacqueline Langwith, ed. 2008.  “Opposing … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Biofuels, Biomass, Energy, Peak Biofuels, Soil, Soil | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Robert Rapier on why “fuel from CO2” breakthrough won’t work

Robert Rapier. Oct 27, 2016.  Ethanol From Carbon Dioxide Is Still A Losing Proposition. energytrendinsider.com If I told you that I had created a process to extract pure gold from seawater, you might deem it an amazing accomplishment. If I … Continue reading

Posted in Biofuels, Biomass EROI, Critical Thinking, Far Out, Other Experts | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Steam powered farm tractors

[ Steam engines weren’t very efficient, 10 to 20% at best, which is why they went away beginning around 1920 when oil-powered engines came along.  At the very best steam engines for transportation reached 10 to 20% efficiency. They were … Continue reading

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Why studies come up with different Energy Returned on Invest (EROI) results: can it be fixed?

[ There are many issues with biofuels beyond their trivial to negative energy return on investment (EROI). In Peak Soil I point out that current industrial farming techniques are destroying topsoil about 15 times faster than pre-fossil fuel economies — … Continue reading

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How burning biomass made us human

[ This is a book review of Wrangham’s “Catching Fire: How cooking made us human”. Fire enabled us to have larger brains from the increased calories in cooked food, held carnivores at bay, killed bacteria, and gave us many other … Continue reading

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Are biofuels a sustainable and viable energy strategy?

[In 2000, Melanie Kenderine at the U.S. Department of energy stated that: “This nation has abundant biomass resources (grasses, trees, agricultural wastes) that have the potential to provide power, fuels, chemicals and other bio-based products” (136). That’s a good point … Continue reading

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National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap, Department of Energy

[ This is the best document of the many I’ve read. If my post Dozens of reasons why the world doesn’t run on algal biofuels didn’t convince you that the scientists are NOT likely to come up with something, get … Continue reading

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Effects of biodiesel on diesel engines: John Deere

[ Since petroleum is finite, the most important focus of U.S. energy research ought to be keeping trucks operating, since civilization ends when trucks stop running.  Ideally this would be done with a “drop-in” fuel that can be burned in … Continue reading

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Benefits of promoting soil health in agriculture U.S. House hearing 2014

                    [ At last, 10 years after I first published “Peak soil: Why biofuels destroy ecosystems and civilizations“, Congress had a hearing that educated house members on why preserving topsoil is … Continue reading

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Why methanol is not an option to replace gasoline or diesel

[ Below is a U.S. House hearing on alternative fuels from which I’ve extracted the methanol portions.  Just a few of the reasons why this is not an option are: The California methanol effort was abandoned for many reasons, but … Continue reading

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